Hindi is written in the Devanagari script from left to right, while Urdu is written from right to left, being derived from a Persian modification of the Arabic script. High variants of Hindi depend on Sanskrit for enrichment, while Urdu looks to Persian and Arabic for its higher variants.

Rather than giving Hindi its due, Nehru insisted that Urdu was the language of the people of Delhi, and should accordingly be given official recognition. When the Home Minister GB Pant told him that the statistics showed only 6% of the Delhiwalas had claimed Urdu as their language, Nehru tried to rubbish the statistics, though he didn’t press further with his crazy idea.

Nehru was also in favour of Persian-Arabic script in which Urdu is written, rather than Devanagari script in which Hindi and Sanskrit are written. It seems that anything Indian or Hindu or representing Hindu/Indian heritage, and Nehru had some problem with it, and he tried to abort it. Ram Manohar Lohia had rightly said that Nehru was against anything that would give Indians a sense of Indianness!

Also, Nehru promoted what he was personally comfortable with: English and Urdu. Not what was good for the nation.

Hindi clearly had association with nation, India, Hindu, and Sanskrit; while Urdu has been advocated by Muslim leaders. The states that became West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) had no association whatever with Urdu; their languages were Punjabi, Sindhi, Bengali, etc.

But, the Muslim leaders from UP who migrated to Pakistan imposed Urdu on Pakistan.

What business Nehru had in trying to favour Urdu and Persian-Arabic script can only be understood if we account for his pseudo-secular character, eagerness to appease Muslims for votes, and allergy for anything rooted in India or in Indian culture and Hinduism.

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